Wentworth: The Garden State's Most Iconic Architects

April 12, 2013

FredWesleyWentworth Photo

Fred Wesley Wentworth, FAIA

Fred Wesley Wentworth, FAIA, was a highly accomplished and respected architect in Paterson, N.J. between the late 1800s and mid-1900s, although, up until recently, was relatively unknown.

Wentworth’s work, which had a large impact on shaping the Paterson community, consisted of institutional, commercial, residential, religious and healthcare buildings, as well as prototype buildings for emerging property types, most notably, moving picture theatres for which his design set standards. 

Some of Wentworth’s better-known Paterson works include Barnert Hospital, the post office and Passaic County Court House; but perhaps his most impressive contribution was designing about 40 buildings in the rebuilding efforts after a wind-swept fire decimated much of central Paterson in 1902.

In addition to his work in Paterson, Wentworth built some well-known buildings throughout North Jersey including the 25-room Atwood-Blauvelt Mansion in Oradell, N.J. and many movie theaters across the region. His beautifully structured designs influenced others in a movement across New Jersey to restore old industrial cities.

Wentworth was also a leader in the architectural community, having served as president of the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects, a member of the State Board of Architects, and a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects.

Although his work has not received the recognition deserved, partly because of the general disrepair of Paterson, his designs and the architecture of the buildings have had a great impact on the Paterson community — and New Jersey — and his legacy continues to live on in his work.

Wentworth Building 1-Post-Office-and-Court-HouseWentworth Building 2 barnert-hospitalWentworth Building 3a Atwood Mansion

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